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Top News Links: Monday, Sept. 22

Even plane parts must climatize

When aircraft components start arriving at the vast new Airbus assembly plant in Mobile, they will be stored at least two days before being assembled into commercial jets. The pause is required to ensure that the parts, manufactured in the Toulouse-based company’s European factories, can cool and resume their original shapes after exposure to the Gulf Coast’s subtropical heat. – Financial Times

U.S. Intuitive R&T honored

Only one Alabama company made Fortune Magazine's 2014 list of the best medium-size workplaces in the U.S. Intuitive Research and Technology Corp., a Huntsville engineering and defense contractor with 279 employees, came in at No. 1 on the 11th-annual Great Place to Work ranking presented by Fortune, an American business publication. It was the company's fifth straight year to be included in the top 10 Great Place to Work ranking. – AL.com

Explosion at U.S. Steel injures 3

An explosion at U.S. Steel in Fairfield Sunday injured three people, possibly one fatally. The plant is located off Valley Road. The company has its own security and paramedics who responded to the incident. They referred all questions to the company's headquarters in Pittsburgh. – AL.com

The politics of pre-K programs

Although President Barack Obama has called for the creation of a universal pre-K program, the influx of business groups that support early childhood education on the grounds of workforce preparation has turned it into a relatively bipartisan aim. Some of the most highly regarded models of quality preschool in the nation, in fact, are in two red states: Oklahoma and Alabama. – Prospect.org

Want public records? Pay us

At least two state agencies in Alabama won’t let people take pictures of public records, with an attorney for one equating the idea with stealing. Tim McCollum, an assistant attorney general with the Alabama Department of Public Safety, told AL.com a taxpayer who wants to get a document for free by taking a picture wants “to steal from the citizens of Alabama.” – Watchdog.org

Employees compete, then collaborate

A lot of companies rely on competition to motivate their sales and marketing teams around important initiatives. But here’s something that they might not even realize: With an added dose of friendly competition comes increased employee collaboration. – Forbes

REV Construction wins $1.9M job

An Alabama company has been awarded a $1.9 million contract for major sewer system upgrades in Corinth, Miss. The Daily Corinthian reports REV Construction Inc. of Tuscaloosa submitted the low bid of $1,907,485. The other bidder on the contract was Eubank Construction Co. of Booneville. – Hattiesburg American

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